The main principles of lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure include:

  1. Proper Identification of Energy Sources: The first step in LOTO procedures is to identify all sources of energy that can potentially cause harm during maintenance, servicing, or repair work. These sources can include electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and thermal energy.
  2. Equipment Shutdown: Once energy sources have been identified, the next step is to shut down the equipment or machinery. This involves turning off the power, closing valves, or blocking the flow of energy.
  3. Lockout/Tagout: After the equipment has been shut down, the next step is to lockout or tagout the energy sources. This involves placing a lockout device, such as a padlock, over the energy source to prevent it from being re-energized.
  4. Release of Stored Energy: It is essential to release any stored energy that may remain in the equipment or machinery after it has been shut down. This can involve bleeding off pressure, discharging capacitors, or releasing tension from springs.
  5. Verification: The next step in the LOTO procedure is to verify that all energy sources have been properly locked out or tagged out. This involves checking that all lockout devices are in place, and the equipment cannot be started up.
  6. Maintenance/Service/Repair Work: Once the LOTO procedure has been completed, maintenance, servicing, or repair work can begin. It is essential to follow proper safety procedures during this work, such as wearing personal protective equipment and following manufacturer instructions.
  7. Removal of Lockout/Tagout Devices: After the maintenance, servicing, or repair work has been completed, the lockout/tagout devices can be removed. It is essential to follow proper procedures to ensure that the equipment is ready to be restarted safely.

LOTO procedures are critical for ensuring the safety of workers during maintenance, servicing, or repair work. The principles of proper identification of energy sources, equipment shutdown, lockout/tagout, release of stored energy, verification, maintenance/service/repair work, and removal of lockout/tagout devices are essential to ensure that the work is carried out safely and without incident.

Lockout locks

Lockout locks are a crucial part of the lockout/tagout procedure used to ensure worker safety during maintenance, repair, or servicing of a wide variety of devices and equipment.

These locks are utilized in devices such as electrical switches and circuit breakers, valves for gas, steam, or liquid flow, machinery and equipment with power sources like pumps, motors, and conveyor belts, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, industrial machinery such as lathes, grinders, and drills, forklifts and other heavy equipment, elevators and escalators, chemical and fuel storage tanks, and laboratory equipment such as centrifuges and mixers.

Lockout locks play a vital role in securing energy-isolating devices, preventing them from being turned on or operated during maintenance or repair work. This helps protect workers from the accidental release of stored energy, which can result in serious injury or even death.

Proper Identification of Energy Sources

The first step in the lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure is to identify all sources of energy that can potentially cause harm during maintenance, servicing, or repair work. This is a critical step because it ensures that all sources of energy are taken into account when developing a LOTO plan.

The process of identifying energy sources should begin by conducting a thorough inspection of the equipment or machinery to be serviced or repaired. This can involve reviewing manufacturer’s instructions, examining equipment and schematics, and consulting with experts to identify all potential sources of energy.

The types of energy sources that must be identified can include electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and thermal energy. Each energy source presents unique hazards and requires specific procedures for lockout/tagout.

Electrical energy, for example, can be present in live wires, switches, circuit breakers, capacitors, batteries, and transformers. Mechanical energy can be present in moving parts such as belts, gears, and pulleys, and can cause crushing or pinching injuries. Hydraulic and pneumatic energy can be present in pressurized fluids and gases, and can cause severe injuries if released suddenly. Thermal energy can be present in hot surfaces, steam, and fluids, and can cause severe burns.

After all sources of energy have been identified, they must be clearly marked and labeled. This can be done by placing tags or labels on the equipment or machinery, identifying the specific source of energy, and warning workers not to remove the tags or labels.

By properly identifying all energy sources, workers can be made aware of the potential hazards present during maintenance, servicing, or repair work. This allows them to take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents and ensure that the work is carried out safely.

Equipment Shutdown

The second step in the lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure is to isolate or shut off all sources of energy that have been identified during the first step. This is a crucial step as it ensures that no energy can be accidentally or inadvertently released during the maintenance or servicing work.

To isolate or shut off the energy source, workers must follow specific procedures that are designed for the type of energy source. For example, electrical energy sources may require a lockout/tagout device to be installed on the circuit breaker or switch, while pneumatic energy sources may require a valve to be closed and locked.

The isolation or shut off of the energy source must be carried out in a systematic and controlled manner to prevent accidents. All workers who will be involved in the maintenance or servicing work must be informed of the energy isolation or shut off procedure and must understand how to perform it.

It is also important to verify that the energy isolation or shut off has been effective. This can be done by testing the equipment or machinery to ensure that it is not operating and by using specialized testing equipment to check for the presence of residual energy.

During this step, it is also essential to release any stored energy that could cause harm. For example, in the case of hydraulic or pneumatic systems, the pressure must be relieved using specific procedures that prevent sudden or unexpected release of the stored energy.

The second step is critical to ensuring that the equipment or machinery is completely safe for maintenance, servicing, or repair work to be carried out. By following specific procedures to isolate and shut off all energy sources, workers can be confident that no energy can be accidentally released and that they can work safely on the equipment or machinery.

Lockout/Tagout

The third step in the lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure is to apply lockout or tagout devices to the energy isolation or shut off points. This step is critical to ensuring that the equipment or machinery remains in a safe and isolated state while maintenance or servicing work is being carried out.

Lockout devices are used to physically prevent the re-energization of the equipment or machinery. They are designed to keep the energy isolation or shut off points in a safe and locked position, preventing unauthorized access or tampering.

Tagout devices are used to provide additional warning to workers who may approach the equipment or machinery while it is undergoing maintenance or servicing. Tagout devices are usually placed on the lockout device or in a prominent location near the energy isolation or shut off point. They contain information about the equipment or machinery and the maintenance or servicing work being carried out, as well as warnings and instructions about the importance of not removing the lockout or tagout device.

Before applying the lockout or tagout device, the worker must ensure that all personnel who may be affected by the maintenance or servicing work have been notified and that the area is cleared of all tools, materials, and personnel. The lockout or tagout device must be securely attached to the energy isolation or shut off point, using specific procedures that are designed for the type of device being used.

The third step is critical to ensuring that the equipment or machinery remains safe and isolated during the maintenance or servicing work. By using lockout and tagout devices, workers can be confident that the equipment or machinery cannot be inadvertently or accidentally re-energized and that they can work safely on it. It is essential to follow specific procedures for the application of lockout and tagout devices to ensure that they are effective and that workers are protected from harm.

Release of Stored Energy

The fourth step in the lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure is to verify the isolation of the equipment or machinery. This step is essential to ensure that the equipment or machinery is indeed in a safe and isolated state and that it cannot be inadvertently or accidentally re-energized.

To verify the isolation of the equipment or machinery, the worker must conduct a test of the lockout or tagout device. This test will confirm that the energy isolation or shut off point has been successfully disconnected and that the equipment or machinery cannot be energized.

The worker must first check that the equipment or machinery is not operating by trying to start it or by using appropriate instruments to confirm that there is no energy flow. They must then verify that the energy isolation or shut off points are disconnected by attempting to start the equipment or machinery. If the equipment or machinery does not start, the isolation has been successfully achieved.

After verifying the isolation, the worker must then test the lockout or tagout device. This test is designed to ensure that the device is securely attached to the energy isolation or shut off point and cannot be removed or tampered with. The test should involve attempting to remove the lockout or tagout device, ensuring that it is secure and cannot be removed without using the specific procedures designed for the device.

Once the isolation and lockout or tagout devices have been tested and verified, the worker can proceed with the maintenance or servicing work. It is essential to follow specific procedures for the verification of the isolation and the lockout or tagout devices to ensure that workers are protected from harm and that the equipment or machinery is not accidentally re-energized.

Fourth step in the lockout/tagout procedure is critical to ensuring that the equipment or machinery remains in a safe and isolated state while maintenance or servicing work is being carried out. By verifying the isolation and lockout or tagout devices, workers can be confident that they are protected from harm and that the equipment or machinery cannot be accidentally re-energized.

Verification

The fifth step in the lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure is to perform the maintenance or servicing work on the isolated equipment or machinery. Once the equipment or machinery has been successfully isolated, the lockout or tagout devices have been installed and verified, and all personnel are clear from the area, the maintenance or servicing work can begin.

It is important to follow the specific procedures and guidelines established for the maintenance or servicing work. These procedures should include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), the proper tools and equipment, and any necessary documentation or permits. The work should be carried out by a qualified and trained worker, and any deviations or issues should be immediately reported and addressed.

During the maintenance or servicing work, the worker should remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. They should be alert for any unexpected or unusual sounds, movements, or changes in the equipment or machinery. Any potential hazards should be immediately reported and addressed to ensure the safety of all personnel.

If the maintenance or servicing work requires a change in the lockout or tagout devices, the procedure must be followed again, starting from the first step. The new lockout or tagout device must be installed, and the isolation and verification steps must be carried out before proceeding with the work.

Once the maintenance or servicing work is complete, the equipment or machinery should be tested to ensure that it is functioning correctly. The worker should check that all tools and equipment have been removed from the area, and the lockout or tagout devices can be safely removed.

Fifth step in the lockout/tagout procedure involves performing the maintenance or servicing work on the isolated equipment or machinery. It is critical to follow specific procedures and guidelines, use proper PPE and tools, and remain alert for any potential hazards. Any changes to the lockout or tagout devices must follow the established procedure, and once the work is complete, the equipment or machinery should be tested, and the lockout or tagout devices removed. By following these steps, workers can safely carry out maintenance or servicing work while protecting themselves and others from harm.

Maintenance/Service/Repair Work

The sixth and final step in the lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure is to restore the equipment or machinery to normal operating conditions. This step involves removing all lockout or tagout devices and ensuring that the equipment or machinery is safe for operation.

To begin the sixth step, the worker should ensure that all personnel are clear of the area and that all tools and equipment have been removed. The lockout or tagout devices should be removed in the reverse order in which they were installed, starting with the most recent device and working backward.

As each lockout or tagout device is removed, the worker should inspect the area to ensure that all parts and components are in their correct position and that there are no loose or damaged parts. The worker should also verify that the equipment or machinery is in good working condition and that it has not been damaged during the maintenance or servicing work.

Once all lockout or tagout devices have been removed, the worker should test the equipment or machinery to ensure that it is functioning correctly. This may involve performing a visual inspection, running the equipment or machinery at a reduced speed, or testing individual components.

If any issues are discovered during the testing, the maintenance or servicing work may need to be repeated, and the lockout/tagout procedure restarted from the first step. If no issues are found, the equipment or machinery can be returned to normal operating conditions, and the work area can be cleaned and cleared of any debris.

It is important to properly document the lockout/tagout procedure, including the devices used, the steps taken, and any issues or concerns that arise during the process. This documentation can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the procedure and identify areas for improvement.

Sixth and final step in the lockout/tagout procedure involves restoring the equipment or machinery to normal operating conditions. This includes removing all lockout or tagout devices, inspecting the area and equipment for damage or loose parts, testing the equipment, and properly documenting the procedure. By following these steps, workers can ensure that the equipment or machinery is safe to operate and that all personnel are protected from harm.

Removal of Lockout/Tagout Devices

While there are six primary steps in the lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure, a seventh step may be necessary in some cases. This step involves training workers on the lockout/tagout procedure and ensuring that they are knowledgeable about the potential hazards and risks associated with the equipment or machinery.

Workers who are responsible for performing maintenance or servicing work on equipment or machinery should be trained on the proper lockout/tagout procedures before beginning work. This training should cover the steps of the LOTO procedure, the hazards associated with the equipment, and the specific lockout/tagout devices that will be used.

In addition to initial training, ongoing training may be necessary to ensure that workers are up-to-date on any changes to the equipment or machinery and any new lockout/tagout procedures that may be required. This training should be provided on a regular basis and should be documented to ensure that all workers have received the necessary training.

In some cases, it may also be necessary to train other personnel who work in the area where the equipment or machinery is located. This may include managers, supervisors, and other workers who may need to enter the area during the maintenance or servicing work.

Training on the lockout/tagout procedure is essential to ensuring that workers are aware of the hazards associated with the equipment or machinery and know how to properly protect themselves and others during maintenance or servicing work. By providing comprehensive training and ongoing education, employers can help prevent accidents, injuries, and even fatalities in the workplace.

In conclusion, while not always necessary, a seventh step in the lockout/tagout procedure may involve training workers on the proper procedures and potential hazards associated with the equipment or machinery. This training should be provided before work begins and should be ongoing to ensure that all workers are up-to-date and aware of any changes or new procedures. By providing comprehensive training, employers can help prevent accidents and ensure the safety of all personnel in the workplace.

–°onclusion

Lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedure is a crucial safety practice that helps prevent workplace accidents and injuries during maintenance or servicing work. The six primary steps of the LOTO procedure are:

  • Preparation for shutdown
  • Equipment shutdown
  • Equipment isolation
  • Lockout/tagout device application
  • Stored energy check
  • Equipment isolation verification

In addition, training on the proper lockout/tagout procedures and potential hazards associated with the equipment or machinery is essential to ensuring the safety of all workers involved in the maintenance or servicing work. This training should be provided before work begins and should be ongoing to ensure that all workers are up-to-date and aware of any changes or new procedures.

By implementing the LOTO procedure and providing comprehensive training, employers can help prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities in the workplace. It is important for all personnel involved in maintenance or servicing work to be familiar with the LOTO procedure and to prioritize safety at all times.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about lockout/tagout:

What is lockout/tagout (LOTO)?

A: Lockout/tagout (LOTO) is a safety procedure used in industrial settings to ensure that machines or equipment are properly shut off and not started up again before maintenance or servicing work is complete. It involves the use of locks and tags to prevent the equipment from being started up, and to alert other workers that maintenance or servicing is taking place.

Why is lockout/tagout important?

A: Lockout/tagout is important because it helps prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. It ensures that equipment is properly shut off and secured before maintenance or servicing work begins, which helps protect workers from hazardous energy sources and moving parts.

Who is responsible for implementing lockout/tagout procedures?

A: Employers are responsible for implementing lockout/tagout procedures and providing the necessary training and equipment to workers. Workers are responsible for following the procedures and using the equipment provided.

When is lockout/tagout required?

A: Lockout/tagout is required when servicing or maintaining machinery or equipment that could potentially start up unexpectedly, which could cause harm to workers. This includes tasks such as cleaning, lubricating, adjusting, and repairing equipment.

What is a lockout/tagout device?

A: A lockout/tagout device is a device that is used to lock out and tag equipment during maintenance or servicing work. The device is typically a lock or padlock that is placed on a switch or valve to prevent it from being turned on, and a tag that indicates who placed the lock and why.

What are some common lockout/tagout devices?

A: Some common lockout/tagout devices include lockout hasps, circuit breaker lockouts, valve lockouts, safety padlocks, lockout tags, and lockout stations.

How should lockout/tagout training be conducted?

A: Lockout/tagout training should be conducted by a qualified trainer who is knowledgeable about the procedures and hazards associated with the equipment or machinery. The training should be tailored to the specific equipment and work being done, and should be provided in a language and format that is easily understood by workers.

What are the consequences of not following lockout/tagout procedures?

A: The consequences of not following lockout/tagout procedures can be severe, including injuries, fatalities, and damage to equipment. Employers can face legal and financial penalties for not following lockout/tagout procedures, and workers can be injured or even killed if proper procedures are not followed.